THE CAST INC. held a lovely luncheon at The Italian American Club on May 1, honoring Lorraine Hunt-Bono and Dennis Bono for their outstanding contribution to the entertainment community. As it had been a while since a 'Cast' get-together, friendly mingling, kissing and hugging started the event as good friends greeted each other. Music filled the air as a great three-piece combo consisting of Linda November, keyboard, Artie Shroeck, drums and Ken Seiffert on bass played throughout the event.
A really delicious lunch was served consisting of salad and entrees of Orange Roughy and Chicken Marsala served with roasted potatoes and green beans.
After lunch, President Tony Sacca started the awards program by introducing the Cast Inc. board members. He also acknowledged Michaelina Bellamy as an honorary board member. Micaelina delighted the audience with a song. Tony Ruivivar (Society of Seven) came to the stage to speak about the importance of the organization. He said he was thrilled and proud to be part of an organization of entertainers that help entertainers. Tony said that every time a major event happens entertainers are always there to help, but this is the only organization in Las Vegas that helps entertainers when they get sick, or need a wheelchair or help with mortgage payments. All this is done anonymously. It was mentioned that this organization, only two years old, has donated almost $30,000 to help entertainers. Future 'Cast' honorees were mentioned such as Little Anthony and the Imperials and Lamont of the 5th Dimensions. Tony said that although Xmas is months away, the organization wants to send as many Xmas baskets as possible to help entertainers who are down on their luck. Tony also told us that the late Don Ho was once a spokesman for the Flamingo Hotel. The Mayor of Hawaii has designated a square in Hawaii for a statue of Don Ho and $250,000 is needed. There will be a golf tournament in Hawaii and 1/2 will go to the Don Ho fund. Tony suggested Don Ho for the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in the future.
New members who joined this day were acknowledged. They were harpist, Kathy Kavanaugh and Coralee and Ed Swindle, who is involved with the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. Ed Swindle came on stage and said that the October nominee for the Las Vegas Walk of Stars will be Evel Knievel. Ed said that the Las Vegas Walk of Stars area has been designated on Las Vegas Boulevard from Russell Road to Sahara Ave. He said that there have been as many as 700 people turned down, who have wanted to have their star placed on the Walk of Stars. It is only people that truly make a difference in Las Vegas that are accepted.
Ronnie Rose, singer who performs at The Bootlegger was called onstage and sang "Unforgettable." Tony Sacca then introduced the honorees, Lorraine Hunt-Bono and Dennis Bono. Dennis lovingly spoke of Lorraine's accomplishments and integrity as Lieutenant Governor. He said he was offended by the press calling her a former Lounge Singer when she was running for office, as if that was all she could do.
However, she was able to have Nevada become the only licensed state to bring tourism from China and have a tourism office open for Nevada in China. At a dinner in China with government dignitaries she sang, "Getting to Know You." After that, the tourism deal was signed. Lorraine said, "Don't underestimate the power of music throughout the world." She then sang that song for us. Lorraine told us she was a singer with the Landmark Hotel/Casino when it opened in 1969 and it was imploded while she was Lieutenant Governor. So, she says she was responsible for opening and closing The Landmark.
Dennis Bono has been doing a live show with celebrities and headliners for seven years, every Thursday at SAMS TOWN. This show also plays on radio in eleven States. Dennis said that Las Vegas hotels neglect audiences over 55 as they now cater to hip one-name nightclubs such as Rain, Pure, Tryst, Taboo and such. His show brings back vintage Las Vegas that reminds us what made Las Vegas the entertainment Capital of the World. Dennis jokingly said there should be a nite club for seniors that opens at 4 p.m., dancing at 6 p.m. and ends so seniors can go home at 9 p.m. and the nite club should be called "Gas."
He then sang "Just in Time." Lorraine and Dennis got together to do a duet ala Steve and Edye (who are their next door neighbors) by singing "Our Love Is Here to Stay."
Lorraine's mother Marie Perry (age 90) who originated The Bootlegger was introduced. Lorraine is very proud of The Bootlegger that has vintage Vegas entertainment every night. (Board member Freddie Bell on Saturdays.)
Board member Ron Garrett who came late closed the event. He facetiously said he was out looking for work. Ron is the entertainment director of the SAHARA HOTEL that has just been sold.
A great afternoon event, enjoyed by all included. Jillian Williams, wife of the late great Joe Williams, Jr., Regent Thalia Dondaro, Attorney Mike Schafer, singer Teddy Kaye, Arleen Gibson, Denny Jones, former legislator Lou Toomin, John Flood, Dr. Ed Hoffman and wife, Janie Resnick, Chick Hughes, former Mrs. Senior Nevada Marlene Koppenhaver, singer Loretta St. John, Billy Hinsche (former musician with Dino, Dezi and Billy and the Beach Boys), commercial model Jeff Bostrand and Patti Lanuto among others.